On Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time ICRC-S presented “Exploring the Impact of Suicide Prevention Research in Criminal Justice Systems,” with speakers Dr. Marc Swogger of the University of Rochester and Dr. Robert Canning of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Incarceration has been identified as a risk factor for suicide and studies have shown that suicide is significantly higher among people that have had contact with the criminal justice system, even if they were never convicted or served time. In this webinar, Dr. Swogger spoke about psychopathy in relation to substance use treatment, violence overall psychopathology, and suicidality in forensic populations. Dr. Canning moderated the webinar and discussed issues of conducting research in prisons.
On Friday, August 14, 2015, ICRC-S hosted “Exploring the Impact of Suicide Prevention Research in Social Media,” with speakers Thomas Niederkrotenthaler, M.D., Ph.D., M.M.Sc. and Benedikt Till, D.Sc. Recent developments in the field of media and suicide research reflect a change in focus from traditional to online media and an increasing attention to stories of hope and recovery and their potential to help prevent suicide. In this webinar, the presenters focused on their recent research investigating how stories of recovery delivered via newspaper reports and fictional films impact various audiences. Furthermore, they presented findings on the role of the Internet in conveying information about suicide and suicide prevention in the United States and in Europe.
Thomas Niederkrotenthaler, M.D., Ph.D., M.M.Sc. is Associate Professor and Head of the Suicide Research Unit of the Institute of Social Medicine, Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Austria. He is co-chair of the IASP Media & Suicide Task Force, Co-chair of National Representatives to IASP, and the founding chairman of the interdisciplinary Austrian science platform Wiener Werkstaette for Suicide Research. In this role, he was awarded with the Erwin Ringel Award (Austrian Society for Suicide Prevention) and Hans Rost Award (German Association for Suicide Prevention) for the description of a suicide-protective Papageno effect of media portayals of coping with adverse circumstances. Dr. Niederkrotenthaler is principal investigator in several projects related to media and suicide and has so far written 65 scientific and educational publications in the area of suicide prevention. He is also an independent contractor in the U.S. Lifeline Crisis chat evaluation. From 2011 to 2012, Dr. Niederkrotenthaler worked as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC, Atlanta. In addition, he served as a discussant of Aspirational Goal Number 10 Increasing help-seeking and referrals for at-risk individuals by decreasing stigma in the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Research Prioritization Task Force.
Benedikt Till, D.Sc. is an Assistant Professor in the Suicide Research Unit, Institute of Social Medicine, Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Austria. He has a doctoral degree in psychology (major: media psychology) and is experienced in quantitative and qualitative research methods. He is also a founding member of the Wiener Werkstaette for Suicide Research, the Austrian platform for interdisciplinary suicide research and prevention. Dr. Till works in the field of media psychology, health communication and suicide research. He has conducted several investigations in the topic area of media and suicide and is author of numerous publications on the role of the mass media in suicidality and suicidal behavior. In 2011, he was the winner of the Star Award of the International Academy of Suicide Research for the best research paper published on suicide by a young researcher. Dr. Till is currently involved in a three-year project investigating the representations and effects of suicide-related websites on Internet users.
ICRC-S 2016 Webinar Series:
Successful Collaborative Research for Suicide Prevention: What Works?
The fourth annual webinar series conducted by the Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention (ICRC-S), a CDC-funded research center focusing on a public health approach to suicide prevention and research, began on Tuesday, January 12, 2016. A project of the University of Rochester Medical Center and Education Development Center, the ICRC-S draws suicide prevention directly into the domain of public health and injury prevention and links it to complementary approaches to mental health.
To prevent suicide, researchers need community and partner input in all phases of research to enable the development and dissemination of evidence-based and culturally competent interventions. This year’s webinar series will explore the important factors that influence collaboration and will share real world experiences from collaborative research projects, including successes and challenges.
Each monthly webinar will be one hour and will provide an opportunity for dialogue with the webinar presenters.
Understanding Adolescent Suicide Attempts: A Research Collaboration among the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Simmons School of Social Work, and Boston Children’s Hospital
The first of six webinars in the Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention’s (ICRC-S) 2016 webinar series took place on Tuesday, January 12th from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The speakers for this webinar were members of the Massachusetts team that attended the ICRC-S 2014 Research Training Institute, including Dr. Kimberly O’Brien and Dr. Joanna Almeida, Assistant Professors, Simmons School of Social Work (Boston), and Brandy Brooks of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Suicide Prevention Program. Their collaborative research project focused on understanding the preparatory thoughts, behaviors, and decision-making processes that precipitate adolescent suicide attempts. David B. Goldston, Ph.D., Duke Child and Family Study Center Practice, Duke University, moderated the webinar. Dr. Goldston acted as mentor to the Massachusetts team for 12 months.
The second webinar in the ICRC-S’s fourth annual webinar series, Successful Collaborative Research for Suicide Prevention: What Works, took place on Friday, March 18, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The speakers for this webinar were members of the Tennessee team who attended the ICRC-S 2014 Research Training Institute, including Jennifer Lockman, Centerstone Research Institute and Terrence Love, Tennessee Department of Health. Additional presenters included Scott Ridgway, Director of the TSPN and Susan Gallagher, RTI faculty. Their collaborative research project focused on evaluating The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network (TSPN), a statewide network of approximately 11,000 volunteers and professionals. The TSPN is a public-private organization responsible for implementing the Tennessee Strategy for Suicide Prevention. The presentation focused on their research project (including the initial and revised aims, the qualitative and quantitative methods, IRB experience and preliminary results) as well as the collaborative process these three agencies engaged in to reach their goals. Susan Gallagher who acted as mentor to the Tennessee team for 12 months moderated the webinar.
The third webinar in the ICRC-S’s fourth annual webinar series, Successful Collaborative Research for Suicide Prevention: What Works, took place on Tuesday, April 26th, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The speakers for this webinar were Jo Anne Sirey, Ph.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College and Jacquelin Berman, Ph.D., of The New York City Department for the Aging. During the webinar, Drs. Sirey and Berman presented the Open Door intervention designed to improve the link to mental health care among older adults with depressive symptoms identified by aging service staff. They discussed its implementation in New York City senior centers. Both presenters also shared the advantages and challenges of their research collaboration, as well as lessons learned. The webinar was moderated by Yeates Conwell, Co-Director of the ICRC-S and Vice Chair in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
The fourth webinar in the ICRC-S’s fourth annual webinar series, Successful Collaborative Research for Suicide Prevention: What Works, took place on Wednesday, May 18, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The speakers for this webinar were Marsha Wittink from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Brooke Levandowski from the Veterans Health Administration’s Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention. Their collaborative research project explores clinician perspectives on: 1) which elements of team-based, collaborative care facilitate suicide prevention for individual patients and 2) what aspects of team-based processes might be beneficial for preventing suicide at the population level.
The fifth webinar in the ICRC-S’s fourth annual webinar series, Successful Collaborative Research for Suicide Prevention: What Works, took place on Wednesday, June 1, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The speakers for this webinar were Camille Quinn of The Ohio State University, Kathleen Kemp of Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital, and Kevin Richard, Deputy Administrator for Rhode Island Family Court. Dr. Quinn provided background information on what is known and not known about juvenile justice involved/incarcerated youth and suicide and moderated the webinar. Dr. Kemp and Mr. Richard shared their experience implementing an evidence-based mental health and substance use screening protocol (which included suicide ideation) in the family court with diverted youth. In addition, the speakers addressed their plans to implement a brief intervention provided by front-line juvenile court staff for youth who screen positive for suicide ideation as well as plans to pursue the ability to share records across health care and court records. The presenters also spoke to the challenges and successes of their collaboration.
The final webinar in the ICRC-S’s fourth annual webinar series, Successful Collaborative Research for Suicide Prevention: What Works, took place Wednesday, July 13, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Speakers from Vermont and Kentucky shared their experiences in identifying, obtaining, and analyzing suicide surveillance data to make advances in suicide prevention. Bonnie Lipton, Prevention Specialist for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, acted as Moderator.
Inspired by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Suicide Care in Systems Framework, Kentucky’s Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) program and Department for Behavioral Health, Development, and Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID) looked at data as a first step in enhancing the ability of Kentucky’s state psychiatric hospitals and community mental health centers (CMHCs) to prevent suicide. Jan Ulrich of the DBHDID shared lessons learned and next steps in improving Kentucky’s systems of care toward preventing suicide.
In 2014, Vermont’s Service Members, Veterans and Their Families Workgroup, which was convened by the governor and includes high-level leadership from state agencies, initiated a request to gather information on suicides among veterans. As part of the response, members of the Vermont Suicide Prevention Data Group (Data Group) conducted an analysis of suicides, both among veterans and among Vermont residents who had received services from state-funded mental health and substance abuse agencies. Tom Delaney of the University of Vermont College of Medicine shared the experience of working with the Data Group, which found that these data indicated that expanding the current GLS funding to include suicide prevention across the lifespan was warranted and made a case for such expansion to key constituents.
This was the first webinar in the ICRC-S’s 2017 webinar series, which will explore Critical Issues in Suicide Prevention Research and Practice.
The suicide rate among U.S. middle school-aged children doubled between 2007 and 2014, according to data released in 2016 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2007, among children ages 10 – 14, there were 180 suicide deaths, while in 2014 the number of suicide deaths in this age group increased to 425. For the first time in 2014, the death rate due to suicide in this age range was the same as for injuries resulting from motor vehicle traffic crashes (1). While the number of suicide deaths is low when compared to other age groups, any death by suicide is a tragedy felt by family, friends and society. Moreover, the trend of suicide deaths among middle school-aged children indicates a growing public health problem that must be understood and addressed by researchers and practitioners.
In this webinar, Sally Curtin, an author of the recently released CDC data report entitled Increase in Suicide in the United States, 1999–2014, described the trends in injury and violence-related deaths among children and youth and explained the data on suicide deaths in children ages 10-14. Jeffrey Hill, Violence and Injury Prevention Program Manager and Youth Suicide Prevention Project Manager in Rhode Island, described elements of Rhode Island’s Suicide Prevention Initiative (SPI) and their use of surveillance data for targeted program efforts.
(1) QuickStats: Death Rates for Motor Vehicle Traffic Injury, Suicide, and Homicide among Children and Adolescents Aged 10–14 Years — United States, 1999–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:1203. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6543a8
Dr. Ian Rockett began the webinar by providing information about suicide misclassification, especially as it relates to poisoning and the current opioid epidemic. He also discussed this misclassification as a problem for understanding and preventing suicide and then explained the concept of death from drug self-intoxication (DDSI) and the need for an enhanced category of self-injury mortality that transcends registered suicides. Dr. Eric Caine built on the prior presentation by placing this work into a public health-prevention context. Of note, many programmatic efforts – e.g., preventing suicide or DDSI – are based on the manner of death and the factors that were apparent during the last moments of life. Prevention efforts for self-injury mortality, however, must be developed long before these final, fatal moments.